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, then the more you really appreciate him. >> he was a lawyer in the sense that he wanted the law to work for everybody and to make society a better place. >> what he did for 25 years was to practice law. lincoln's intellect, his growth and development, his ability to use what he knew, his wit and humor: all of those things were practiced on the circuit. >> lincoln could not have become president of the united states had he been anywhere other than central illinois during that period between 1830 and 1860. >> everybody always wonders, does the man make the times or the times makes the man? and i think what happened is, the 1850s became one of those intense periods when large issues cut across people's private lives, and lincoln, like the other members of his generation, got swept up into that larger stage. >> male announcer: lincoln: prelude to the presidency is made possible by a major grant from the illinois abraham lincoln bicentennial commission. additional funding provided by country financial: for more than 80 years, striving to help people achieve financial security. the university
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